Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 9
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES 2 Science at NASA RATIONALE FOR NASA SCIENCE Space Science Programs The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 directed NASA to expand human knowledge of the Earth and space and to preserve U.S. leadership in space science and technology. Thus, although the motivation for the space program was a forceful political reaction to the successful Soviet launch of Sputnik, space science was from the very beginning a major element of the program. Indeed, the first U.S. satellite, Explorer I, launched by the U.S. Army even before the establishment of NASA, was a scientific satellite carrying micrometeoroid detectors and a Geiger counter as its payload. This first space science mission discovered the Van Allen radiation belts and began an uninterrupted period of extraordinary discovery and scientific advance that continues today. Through its commitment to the Space Act goals, NASA ushered in an age of discovery in space science and astronomy. Not since the pioneering voyages from Western Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries has our understanding of the world we inhabit changed so profoundly. The space around the Earth has been found to be an amazingly complex collection of fields and particles whose behavior has significant impact on the Earth and its atmosphere. Humans have walked on a world other than our home planet, and NASA robotic spacecraft have voyaged to all of the planets except Pluto. High-resolution images have been obtained of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and its rings, Neptune, and Uranus, and the surface of Venus has been mapped by radar. The surfaces of Mercury and of many of the moons that orbit the planets have been imaged, revealing each as a distinct and separate world with its own geologic history. Understanding of the processes that have determined the evolution of the atmospheres and surfaces of these planets can help us develop models of the formation and evolution of the Earth and of the impact of changing conditions on the evolution of its atmosphere. NASA has also reached far beyond the solar system in its exploration of the universe. From satellites above the Earth's atmosphere, NASA has made it possible for the first time to explore the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from high-energy gamma rays to long-wavelength infrared. The Hubble Space Telescope has provided images of stars and galaxies unblurred by the Earth's atmosphere. The Cosmic Background Explorer has provided hints of early density enhancements in the universe that were the seeds of the structure that we see today. Observations with NASA satellites have given strong
OCR for page 10
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES evidence for the existence of such exotic objects as black holes and have revealed disks of dust and gas around very young stars that may evolve into planetary systems much like our own. Equally impressive, space technologies have made possible our current scientific concept of the Earth as a complex system. From Apollo photographs of the Earth as a blue marble to the recent Shuttle-based radar images of rain tracks in the Midwest or ancient drainage structures under Middle Eastern deserts, the space perspective has revolutionized our understanding of atmospheric, oceanic, and land processes. We have measured centimeter-scale distortions of the Earth's crust associated with plate tectonics; detected and understood the polar ozone holes; begun to understand the dynamics and chemistry of the stratosphere and upper atmosphere; correlated climate variations with the Pacific El Niño and with major volcanic eruptions; learned to use satellite radiometry to estimate global atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles; bounded solar variability; measured the components of the Earth's radiation budget; and used satellite observations to validate greatly improved atmospheric models for prediction of weather and climate. The life sciences, too, were an early element of the NASA program, both for supporting human spaceflight and for studying fundamental biological processes that occur in the space environment. When longer-duration operations at zero gravity became possible (Skylab, Shuttle, Spacelab), micro-gravity science took its place among the space sciences of NASA. But many challenges and new opportunities remain. It is because of these opportunities for continued discovery and analysis that the place of space science in the program of NASA has been repeatedly reaffirmed, both in agency planning and in external reviews. In 1983 the NASA Advisory Council's Study of the Mission of NASA1 placed space science and exploration at the forefront of the space mission of NASA (Appendix C). In its 1990 report,2 the Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program (the Augustine Committee) recommended that, in a balanced space program, highest priority be given to the space science program in the competition for NASA resources. The committee ranked science “. . . above space stations, aerospace planes, manned missions to the planets, and many other major pursuits which often receive greater visibility” (Appendix C). As the basis for its recommendation, the committee cited the central role of NASA in enabling basic discovery and understanding; gaining fundamental knowledge of our own planet to support improvements in the quality of life for people on Earth; stimulating education of future scientists; and giving vision, imagination, and direction to the space program. Subsequently, the NASA Advisory Council, in its 1994 Report on the Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program,3 reaffirmed the validity of most of those findings—and, in particular, those associated with the priority of space science. Technology for Space Science Technology for space science includes not only the technologies related to sensors, experimental apparatuses, and data analysis, but also those necessary for spacecraft and systems technologies such as spacecraft power, control and structural systems, and information handling. The space sciences have traditionally used new technologies to enable more ambitious missions for increasingly sophisticated observations. NASA developed the technologies for large, capable spacecraft and for complex flight operations for flagship missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and the Magellan Venus Radar Mapper. 1 NASA Advisory Council, Study of the Mission of NASA, October 12, 1983. 2 Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program, Report of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program, December 1990. 3 NASA Advisory Council, Report on the Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program, October 1994.
OCR for page 11
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES In general, performance has been favored over economy during most of NASA's history. But in the 1980s, the high cost of programs caused NASA to become increasingly risk-averse. New technologies were perceived as risky and were avoided unless absolutely necessary to a mission. Recent recognition that NASA budgets were not only unlikely to grow, but could be expected to decrease, has spawned an emphasis on “smaller, faster, cheaper” missions. While the focus of technical development has shifted from ever-increasing capability to cost control, new space science missions and experiments remain critically dependent on the rapid deployment of new technology. Thus, the balance has shifted to place more emphasis on technologies for enhanced economy. NASA has viewed itself as both primary developer and customer for its space technologies. Unlike its aeronautics programs, where industry and national security are the customers, NASA's spaceflight programs develop technologies primarily for their own use. Many programs during the Apollo era invested heavily in technology, and many of those technologies were developed in-house or by contractors who were closely associated with NASA field centers. At that time, NASA could be considered the primary national provider of space technology. During the years since Apollo, NASA's emphasis on operations has increased while its pursuit of new technology has narrowed to focus on specific mission needs. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense (DoD) has aggressively funded industry, academia, and government laboratories to develop a broad range of space technologies. As a consequence, DoD became the primary agent of technological advancement, and industry and academia have become the primary U.S. developers of new spacecraft technologies and some sensor technologies. Many sensors used for space science today are the result of industry/university/national laboratory collaborative efforts and are based on DoD technologies. MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AT NASA Space Science The organization and management of aerospace activities at NASA, including scientific activities, involve both program/project responsibilities and institutional responsibilities. Programs and projects are the activities that are conducted to reach the goals and objectives of the agency, while the institution comprises the academic laboratories, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the aerospace industries expected to build the hardware, as well as the NASA staff, facilities and equipment, and plant. Projects are discrete activities with specific objectives, schedules, and costs. Programs are the broader, more encompassing scientific endeavors, often including one or more projects, and often defined by scientific disciplines (e.g., space physics) or narrower fields of science (e.g., Global Geospace Science). NASA definitions of program and project4 are given in Appendix D. Program management usually resides at NASA Headquarters within a program office. The program manager is responsible to the program associate administrator for developing goals and objectives, planning and defending programs and missions (to NASA and the Administration), managing and disbursing resources, and administering Headquarters guidelines and controls under which the projects constituting the program are implemented. Project management usually resides at a field center, and a project manager is responsible for execution of the project plan by participants, both in and out of government, and for reporting on status and performance. Institutional responsibilities of the center director include providing the technical and support staff for the project and the facilities and equipment needed for success. Field centers report to institutional associate administrators, who may or may not be the same as the program associate administrator for the 4 NASA, Management of Major System Programs and Projects Handbook, NASA Handbook 7120.5, November 22, 1993.
OCR for page 12
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES program in question. Thus, a project manager at a field center reports to a program manager at Headquarters for program/project matters such as R&D costs and schedules, but to his or her center director and a (possibly) different institutional associate administrator at Headquarters for the staff, equipment, and facility support needed to accomplish the project. The roles and responsibilities of each of the NASA Headquarters offices and field centers are detailed in NASA Handbook (NHB) 1101.3.5 The current version includes changes through November 22, 1994. Appendix E gives a summary of the contents particularly relevant to the science programs of NASA. Table 2.1 shows, for each of the four main science programs, the responsible program office, the field centers responsible for major elements of that program, and the institutional offices for the centers involved. There is considerable “cross-involvement,” that is, major science activity in a center reporting institutionally to a Headquarters office other than that responsible for the program. Note that JPL is shown reporting “institutionally ” to OSS. JPL is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) operated by the California Institute of Technology for NASA under contract. At JPL, unlike at the civil service NASA centers, each responsible science program office funds not only its own programmatic costs, but also staff, facilities, and equipment (institutional) costs. These arrangements have changed over time. Table 2.2 shows the evolution of NASA's science organization since NASA's birth in 1958.6 Highlights of organizational changes among the science programs through NASA's history have been noted previously. These are shown here, along with changes in the institutional reporting relationships of the centers. For the most part, but not always, the centers have reported institutionally to the program offices with which they were principally involved programmatically. But twice in the agency's history the centers reported to a central agency authority for institutional purposes (personnel, facilities, general support) while maintaining their programmatic reporting to the responsible program offices. For a brief period early in the Apollo era (1961 through TABLE 2.1 Space Science Program and Institutional Management Science Program Program Office Major Field Centers Institutional Office Traditional Space Science Office of Space Science (OSS) Goddard Space Flight Center Jet Propulsion Laboratory Marshall Space Flight Center Johnson Space Center Ames Research Center OMTPE OSS Office of Space Flight (OSF) OSF Office of Aeronautics (OA) Earth Science Office of Mission to Planet Earth (OMTPE) Goddard Space Flight Center Jet Propulsion Laboratory Stennis Space Center Langley Research Center Ames Research Center OMTPE OSS OSF OA OA Life Science Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications (OLMSA) Johnson Space Center Ames Research Center OSF OA Microgravity Science OLMSA Marshall Space Flight Center Lewis Research Center OSF OA 5 NASA, The NASA Organization, NASA Handbook 1101.3, September 13, 1994, with changes through November 22, 1994. 6 NASA, The Evolution of the NASA Organization, March 1985.
OCR for page 13
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES TABLE 2.2 NASA Science Organization—The Big Picture Period Space/Earth Science and Applications Microgravity Science Life Science Field Centers 1958 to 1961 Space Science (later Lunar and Planetary, Satellites and Sounding Rockets) under Space Flight Development program office (AA level) N/A Biology and Life Systems, Biosciences Divisions under Space Flight Development ('58-'60) Life Science program office (AA level) ('60-'61) Reported to program offices 1961 to 1963 Office of Space Science (OSS) Office of Applications (OA) OA OART (Biotechnology and Human Factors) OSS (Bioscience and Exobiology) OMSF (Space Medicine) Reported to Associate Administrator (Seamans) 1963 to 1972 Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) OSSA Same through '70 Consolidated in '71 to OMSF (except Exobiology and Aero Life Science) Reported to program offices GSFC, JPL, WFC to OSSA MSFC and JSC to OMSF Ames, LaRC, and LeRC to OAST 1972 to 1981 Office of Space Science Office of Applications (later Office of Space and Terrestrial Applications, OSTA) OA (OSTA) Same to '75 Transferred in '75 to OSS Same In '74 to AA/Center Operations In '78 to Administrator 1982 to 1992 Office of Space Science and Applications OSSA (Shuttle and Space Station Science) Same through '92 In '82 back to program offices as before (WFC to GSFC) 1993 to date Office of Space Science Office of Mission to Planet Earth Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications OLMSA Same, but GSFC to OMTPE 1963), all the centers reported to an associate administrator and secured institutional resources from that office. Institutional reporting to appropriate program offices was reinstituted after 1963, and remained in effect until 1974. From 1963 through 1974 the OSSA associate administrator controlled all the elements essential to the management of space sciences, that is, the science program content, the budget, the transportation system, and the institutions involved. Even tracking and data acquisition, though the
OCR for page 14
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES province of another associate administrator, were managed by the OSSA centers, GSFC and JPL, giving OSSA effective control of all the infrastructure required to conduct the science program. This situation changed in 1974, when the Administrator placed the NASA field centers under an Associate Administrator for Center Operations and transferred expendable (unmanned) launch vehicles to another program office. The Office of Space Science (having relinquished Applications in 1972) now had to secure institutional and other infrastructure resources from others. For the next eight years, the centers reported centrally (from 1974 to 1978 to the Associate Administrator for Center Operations and from 1978 to 1982 to the Administrator himself). The reorganization of 1982 returned institutional responsibility to the program offices, with OSSA regaining responsibility for GSFC and JPL. When the science programs were split in late 1992, institutional responsibility for GSFC went to the Office of Mission to Planet Earth and responsibility for JPL went to the Office of Space Science. Appendix J provides a current organization chart for NASA. In May 1994, NASA published a new strategic plan. This plan was refined and re-released in February 1995. A major feature of these new plans was the introduction of the “strategic enterprises.” These enterprises form the framework in which strategic planning for the agency is being conducted. The division of NASA's programs into these separate categories explicitly reflects the new orientation toward serving external “customers”—agency analysis concluded that different elements of NASA's overall program served distinct external customer communities, and the enterprises are structured to focus on the specific needs and interests of these communities. Thus, the enterprises were devised as a planning aid for agency strategic planning. In the words of the 1995 plan: The NASA Strategic Plan establishes a framework for making management decisions by separating key Agency activities into the distinctly different categories of externally focused Strategic Enterprises and internally focused Strategic Functions—ends and means.... Each of our Strategic Enterprises are analogous to strategic business units, employed by private sector companies to focus on and respond to its customers' needs. Each Strategic Enterprise has a unique set of strategic goals, objectives, and concerns with a unique set of primary external customers.7 NASA's analysis of its “customer base” led to the definition of five strategic enterprises: Mission to Planet Earth, Aeronautics, Human Exploration and Development of Space, Space Science, and Space Technology. Three major supporting “strategic functions” were identified: Space Communications, Human Resources, and Physical Resources. The strategic function and enterprise framework is illustrated in Figure 2.1, which also shows top-level results of the agency's customer analysis and its relationship to the strategic enterprises. The mapping of NASA's three major science offices and their flight projects and research programs into the strategic enterprises is straightforward: the Office of Space Science into the Space Science Enterprise; the Office of Mission to Planet Earth into the Mission to Planet Earth Enterprise; and the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications into the Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise, which it shares with the Office of Space Flight. These two program offices share Human Exploration and Development Enterprise leadership. Initially, the enterprises were essentially a planning overlay onto the traditional program offices, but NASA is using them increasingly as its primary management entities. The development and evolution of the strategic enterprise approach are determined from, and in turn influence, NASA's relationships with outside communities, and an understanding of this approach is crucial background to many of the committee's findings and recommendations. Establishment of the enterprises does not address split program and institutional management 7 NASA, NASA Strategic Plan, February 1995, pp. 4 and 6.
OCR for page 15
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES FIGURE 2.1 NASA strategic plan framework. SOURCE: 1995 NASA Strategic Plan. responsibilities at field centers. While there is some move toward consolidation of individual science programs at fewer centers, there is little likelihood that programs will be so concentrated as to be conducted exclusively at one or more centers dedicated solely to that program. In particular, Earth science, astrophysics, and space physics are all expected to remain major elements at GSFC, a center reporting institutionally to OMTPE; at the same time, no center reports institutionally to OLMSA, in spite of its life and microgravity science programs. Thus, the question of center reporting and center program alignment must also be addressed in examination of organizational alternatives. Technology for Space Science Technology development for the space sciences occurs in four NASA offices: the Office of Space Access and Technology (OSAT), the Office of Space Science (OSS), the Office of Mission to Planet Earth (OMTPE), and the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications (OLMSA). These space science technologies in turn support all four of NASA's strategic space enterprises: Space Technology, Space Science, Mission to Planet Earth, and Human Exploration and Development of Space. The identification, development, and utilization of technologies for the space sciences ultimately depend on effective management and cooperation among these four offices. Each of the four offices manages its technology development differently. OSAT is responsible for developing generic space sensor, vehicle, and system technologies for OSS and OMTPE. OSAT was created in September 1994 by merging the Office of Advanced Concepts and Technology (OACT) with
OCR for page 16
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES the Office of Space Systems Development. (OACT, in turn, had been formed in 1992 from the space portion of the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) and the Office of Commercial Programs. Prior to this, OAST had received many of the remnants of the Office of Exploration when that office was eliminated in 1993.) OSAT is now the only office in NASA's Space Technology Enterprise. Its four goals are to “ reduce the cost of access to space;  provide innovative technologies to enable ambitious, future space missions;  build capability in the U.S. space industry through focused space technology efforts; and  share the harvest of space technology with the U.S. industrial community.”8 The second goal is common to each of OSAT's organizational predecessors and is of primary relevance to the present study. Within OSAT, the Spacecraft Systems Development Division has the responsibility for developing space science technology. OSAT projects may span the needs of more than one office or of multiple divisions within an office, or they may address a specific need of a single science division. Until 1994, OSAT's strategy was to dedicate 40 percent of its budget to near-term projects (less than five years to deployment) and 60 percent to far-term projects. OSAT's current strategy is to devote 80 percent of its resources to near-term projects and 20 percent to far-term projects. In spite of this, OSAT's work in technology development for space science is, with a few exceptions, not tied to missions that are currently funded and under development by a science office. The three science offices—OSS, OMTPE, and OLMSA—and their divisions have disparate levels of effort and organizational commitments to their advanced technology programs. In general, they undertake two types of technology development—(1) that which is part of an approved flight project and (2) Advanced Technology Development (ATD), which expands future capabilities or enables future projects. Budgets and management of the former are submerged within specific flight projects, while ATD projects appear under ATD accounts in OSS and OLMSA. OMTPE does not have a separate ATD account. The Office of Space Science produced the Office of Space Science Integrated Technology Strategy (April 1994) to define its technology programs and plans. This strategy has been approved and its implementation begun. Each of the three OSS divisions (astrophysics, space physics, and solar system exploration) supports ATD projects that they have identified as necessary for future missions and works with OSAT to ensure that OSAT projects are responsive to OSS needs. Each division has an individual who is responsible for managing its ATD projects. OSS also has an assistant associate administrator dedicated to ensuring that the technology that OSS will need is being developed. OSS has negotiated a significant level of effort by OSAT, and the OSS Integrated Technology Strategy was developed with help from OSAT's predecessor, OACT. Funds within OSS for ATD are limited, but the OSS ATD program is organized, well-administered, and responsive to inputs from the external community. In 1994 the Office of Mission to Planet Earth created a staff office for “Technology Innovation and Advanced Planning.” This office is responsible for determining technology readiness, identifying infusion opportunities, and coordinating and prioritizing technology “push” and mission “pull” projects. Before establishing this office, OMTPE did not have its own ATD program, but negotiated its generic technology needs with OSAT's predecessors. OMTPE is evolving a process for identifying and developing new technologies and infusing them into its flight projects. For example, where OMTPE once focused primarily on sensor technologies for instruments, it is now a team member on the OSAT Small Satellite Technology Initiative (SSTI) program, on the OSS Future Micro-Spacecraft Initiatives, and on the New Millennium program. While progress is being made, OMTPE does not yet have an agreement with OSAT concerning OMTPE technology needs. They have not yet resolved how needs are to be identified and prioritized, how the technologies will transition from OSAT to OMTPE funding, or how new technologies will be demonstrated. 8 OSAT Associate Administrator J. Mansfield, briefing, April 26, 1995.
OCR for page 17
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES The Office of Life and Microgravity Science and Applications has two divisions with responsibility for carrying out scientific research in space: the Microgravity Science and Applications Division (MSAD) and the Life and Biomedical Sciences and Applications Division (LBSAD). Most of OLMSA's space-based research takes place on the Space Shuttle, and a transition to the Space Station is expected later in the decade. Thus, OLMSA technologies for space science are not “spacecraft technologies, ” in the sense of OSS and OMTPE technologies. The primary focus of OLMSA technologies is to enable the study of physical phenomena that are unique to the space environment or that occur differently in space than they do on the Earth's surface. Both MSAD and LBSAD have small, in-house, ATD programs dedicated to near-term technology needs, and OLSMA has recently received from OSAT the responsibility, along with some funding, for advanced technologies in support of future human missions (e.g., advanced physicochemical life support systems and extravehicular activity suits). OSAT has traditionally done little work based on OLMSA's stated needs and currently shows little interest in its needs for new technology. While OLMSA and OSAT have had several draft technology development plans and agreements, they did not have an approved plan for increasing technology development work for life and microgravity sciences at the time of the current review. THE BUDGET FOR SPACE SCIENCE AT NASA Space Science Budgets For the purpose of the present study, the space sciences are defined as the science elements of the program of the Office of Space Science and Applications in the years leading up to the 1992-1993 reorganization. This includes the traditional space sciences in the present Office of Space Science (astrophysics, space physics, and solar system exploration), the Earth sciences in the Office of Mission to Planet Earth, and the life and microgravity sciences in the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications. Omitted are aerospace engineering sciences, which are managed in other program offices and generally relate to the means for conducting spaceflight programs, rather than to their goals. The NASA budget graphically demonstrates the importance accorded to space science. Figure 2.2 shows, in constant 1994 dollars, the actual NASA budget from 1982 to the present, and funding to the year 2000 as projected in the President's budget submitted to the Congress for FY 1996. The funding curves divide the NASA budget in three parts: Space Science R&D, Space Science Support, and Other NASA. Space Science R&D funds are the R&D (budget category) funds allocated directly for space science programs as defined for the present study, that is, traditional space science, Earth science, and life and microgravity sciences. Space Science Support includes those costs from other budget categories that may be attributed to support of space science; they include an appropriate portion of civil service personnel, expendable vehicle launch, facilities, and tracking costs, as estimated by NASA. The category Other NASA encompasses all the rest, from aeronautics to Space Station and the corresponding support costs. Because the Shuttle is built and maintained for many national purposes, its costs are excluded from Space Science Support budgets presented here and included in the category Other NASA. In Figure 2.2, the NASA total is seen to rise essentially monotonically to just over $15 billion in 1992, after which it begins a decline to an expected level of $12.5 billion by 2000 (as projected in the FY 1996 budget submission). This decline reflects recent and continuing efforts to reduce the federal budget deficit. Both Space Science R&D and Space Science Support climb correspondingly, with peaks around 1995 before they begin to decline. The FY 1996 President's Budget included a proposed “middle-class tax cut,” which required additional budget reductions for agencies relative to their earlier plans. The total reduction for NASA came to about $5 billion for fiscal years 1997 through 2000, distributed over those years as shown in Figure 2.2 for the total. Funding for the elements of NASA's Space Science R&D program, Traditional Space Science R&D, Mission to Planet Earth R&D, and Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications R&D, is shown in
OCR for page 18
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES FIGURE 2.2 NASA funding for Space Science R&D, Space Science Support, and Other NASA (constant 1994 dollars; FY 1996 and beyond are projections from FY 1996 Administration budget). Shuttle costs are not included in Space Science Support. FIGURE 2.3 NASA funding for Space Science R&D components (constant 1994 dollars; FY 1996 and beyond are projections from FY 1996 Administration budget).
OCR for page 19
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES FIGURE 2.4 NASA funding for Space Science Support components (constant 1994 dollars; FY 1996 and beyond are projections from FY 1996 Administration budget). Shuttle costs are not included. Figure 2.3. These data show the peak funding for the total reaching nearly $4 billion in FY 1995, with a drop-off to just over $3 billion by FY 2000. However, the individual components show that the latter two R&D elements remain roughly constant (at approximately $1.3 billion and $0.5 billion, respectively) for the last half of the present decade while R&D funding for the Traditional Space Science R&D program declines during the same period by about 35 percent, that is, from about $2 billion to about $1.3 billion. This decline results largely from completion of the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility and the Cassini spacecraft and does not include initiation of any new activities of comparable scale. The components of Space Science Support are detailed for the same years in Figure 2.4. Figure 2.5 shows Space Science R&D and Total Space Sciences (defined as the sum of Space Sciences R&D and Support) as a percentage of the total NASA budget for the same years as displayed in the other figures. During this period, Space Science R&D averages 20 percent of the total NASA budget, a figure frequently cited. In detail, it is seen here to have grown beyond that value by FY 1994, reaching a level of about 25 percent at the present. It is projected to remain there through the year 2000. Clearly, up to the present, the space science budget has reflected the importance ascribed to science by the Space Act and subsequent reports cited above. However, the coming years will be a period of transition for NASA science, with shifting priorities among the sciences and with great pressure on the NASA budget as a whole. Technology Budgets The strategy of using new technologies to counter shrinking budgets will require that NASA invest more, and with greater effectiveness, in acquiring or developing relevant technologies. Figure 2.6 shows the funding levels at NASA in support of technology for the space sciences in FY 1992 and 1995. In the last three years the NASA science and technology offices have responded unevenly. OSS has increased its ATD investment, while OSAT's work on behalf of OSS has decreased. OMTPE's ATD investment
OCR for page 20
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES FIGURE 2.5 NASA space science funding as a percentage of total NASA funding. Shuttle costs are not included in Space Science Support. FIGURE 2.6 FY 1992 and FY 1995 NASA spending on technology for the space sciences (then-year dollars). FY 1992 budget data are based on the OSSA divisions that existed at that time, prior to the establishment of separate NASA Offices for Space Science, Mission to Planet Earth, and Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications. Also, an additional $7 million that OAST spent on OSSA needs in FY 1992—for high-performance computing and systems analysis—is not allocated above to the successor offices of OSS, OMTPE, and OLMSA.
OCR for page 21
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES FIGURE 2.7 FY 1992 and FY 1995 Technology Office spending on the space sciences (near-term and far-term) (then-year dollars). has remained difficult to quantify, while work on behalf of OMTPE has increased. OLMSA's ATD programs have remained small, but overall technology development spending at OLMSA has increased, due partially to the transfer of some technology responsibilities from OSAT to OLMSA. OSAT's work on OLMSA's stated science needs currently constitutes just a few selected efforts. Figure 2.7 shows that during this same period OSAT has shifted its funding to near-term needs from far-term needs. The total funding for FY 1995 devoted to advanced technology development, demonstration, and infusion related to the space sciences is clearly increased over that in 1992, but is not convincingly adequate to support NASA's current goals for rapidly developing and infusing new technologies into flight missions. NASA SCIENCE RELATIONSHIPS Throughout its 37 years, NASA has maintained a wide range of relationships with other parties, both in the United States and abroad, in the conduct of its programs, including those in the space sciences. The interactions between NASA and these other parties are of three general kinds: (1) cooperative partnerships with others to achieve direct scientific objectives; (2) arrangements in which NASA provides scientific information, instruments, or equipment to others, on either a reimbursable or non-reimbursable basis, for use in achieving scientific objectives; and (3) arrangements in which NASA obtains research from others on either a reimbursable or non-reimbursable basis. The first two kinds and the non-reimbursable arrangement of the third kind are generally established by international or interagency agreements and are most often established (for NASA) at the Headquarters level. The following discussion sketches their number and range. Reimbursable arrangements of the third kind consist of awards of grants or contracts for the conduct of research, and these can be executed at either Headquarters or a NASA field center.
OCR for page 22
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES International Agreements The largest number of agreements for cooperative activities are international agreements, either with agencies of other nations or with one or more international agencies, such as the European Space Agency (ESA). Some international agreements are of such importance that they are established by exchanges of diplomatic notes or by government-to-government agreements, in some cases executed even by heads of state. In cooperative agreements, each party agrees to certain actions toward a mutual end. Generally, no funds or other resources change hands; that is, each party funds its own part of the cooperative activity, and all the parts are coordinated to achieve the joint goal. However, some agreements include provisions for the furnishing or loan of instruments or equipment by one party to the other. Over the years, several thousand international agreements have been successfully concluded and implemented. Many of these agreements, such as Helios, were made to accomplish Administration or State Department goals and then jointly modified by OSSA and its foreign counterpart to maximize the scientific results of the mission. At present, more than 400 are in place with about 140 national agencies and other foreign bodies in more than 40 countries. A great many of the agreements are aimed at achieving space science objectives, ranging in scope from the mundane (e.g., bilateral technical document exchange programs) to the exotic (e.g., Solar Probe, a potential joint mission with Russia to explore the Sun's corona). All of the space sciences are represented among these agreements, with particular emphasis on cooperative endeavors in astrophysics, space physics, and solar system exploration with ESA and its member nations, as well as with Russia and Japan. Life science is prominent in the agreements with Russia, which has extensive experience in long-duration human spaceflight. Once barriers obstructing access to these life science data are overcome and differences in objectives and protocols are compensated for, these data could provide much information for research on the effects of the space environment on humans and on countermeasures. Earth science agreements are in place among many nations, including many of the smaller nations interested in environmental and resource surveys (e.g., collection of environmental data with Mongolia). While the great majority of the international agreements are for the achievement of scientific objectives, some have been aimed at international—even global—policy issues. For example, an international meeting in 1987 leaned heavily on the results of space research to develop the “Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. ” That protocol and several revisions to it deal with reduction of the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a means to counter the reduction in stratospheric ozone. Interagency Agreements Interagency agreements include agreements both with other agencies of the federal government and with agencies of state and local governments. Approximately 600 such agreements are currently on the books; the partners are the 11 cabinet departments, the military services, various other federal agencies, and elements of the governments of 14 states and Puerto Rico. Science is widely represented among these agreements, although many agreements, especially with the military services, relate to aeronautics and to joint operations of space infrastructure elements. A number of agreements with the National Science Foundation are aimed at astrophysics and space physics, and life science is the subject of a number of research agreements with the Department of Health and Human Services. Earth science is a key element of agreements with the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce (NOAA), and the Interior and with the Environmental Protection Agency. The long NASA/NOAA relationship provides an excellent example of interagency partnership. For the first 20 to 25 years of the U.S. civil space activities, NASA and NOAA worked cooperatively toward the development of satellites to serve the weather forecasting responsibilities of NOAA. NASA conducted most of the R&D related to NOAA requirements. It oversaw the construction, launch, and
OCR for page 23
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES check-out of operational satellites and then turned their operation over to NOAA. With termination of the Operational Satellite Improvement Program in 1982, NASA stopped its R&D for sensors and instruments meeting NOAA requirements, except where NASA requirements were also met. Today, NASA, NOAA, and DoD are cooperating in merging civil and military meteorology satellite systems. In the new partnership, DoD will lead in systems acquisition, NOAA in system operations, and NASA in new technology development. Although NASA will contribute four staff members to the integrated program office, including the Assistant Director for Technology Transition, it will contribute no program funds. Full convergence of the programs is expected by 2005, including a European component. The Office of Mission to Planet Earth will employ the Earth Observing System (EOS)—an extensive set of sensors on several platforms in low Earth orbit—to monitor, for 15 years, elements of the atmosphere, oceans, and land for climate change research. Data from EOS will be archived and disseminated by the EOS Data and Information Service (EOSDIS). While NOAA also pursues research in climate change and has its own satellites and data and information system (the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information System—NESDIS), there have not been serious attempts to converge these programs where objectives or hardware could be shared. Although some of the EOS instruments are thought of as precursors to NOAA operational instruments and a mature EOSDIS would be operated by NESDIS, NOAA has expressed reservations about absorbing these technologies because it perceives them to be unsuited to its operational program.9 An operational transition might have been easier if NOAA and NASA had originally sought common ground through a technology planning process for their sensors, satellites, and data management systems. Management Considerations The great majority of the agreements, whether international or interagency, are negotiated at the NASA Headquarters level. On the NASA side, they involve the program office having responsibility for the program or activity involved and an appropriate staff office having responsibility for facilitating interactions with the partner. Field center staff may also be involved, but the lead in these agreements is usually with Headquarters. International agreements are the responsibility of the International Relations Division of the Office of External Relations, which also interfaces with the Department of State, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and other agencies as needed for interagency review and coordination purposes. Interagency agreements (both defense and civil sector) are the staff responsibility of the Defense Affairs Division of the Office of External Relations. Because of the policy nature of international and interagency agreements and the growing mandate for international collaboration, responsibility for these agreements appears to be a necessary Headquarters function. Adequate staff must be provided to support their establishment and successful implementation. HOW OTHERS MANAGE SCIENCE AND ASSOCIATED TECHNOLOGY Appendix F describes research management approaches of four other government agencies—the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of DoD. The approaches of NSF, NIH, and DOE are compared here to those of NASA's science programs, while ARPA's approach is more appropriately compared to that of NASA's advanced technology program. 9 NRC, Committee on Earth Studies of the Space Studies Board, Earth Observations from Space: History, Promise, and Reality, 1995, in press.
OCR for page 24
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES Science—NSF, NIH, DOE, and NASA NSF broadly supports basic research in science and engineering, focusing on three general types of research: support for individual investigators or small groups (the dominant type); support for large groups, field operations, and centers (such as the Engineering Research Centers); and support for national user facilities (such as telescopes, oceanographic research vessels, and particle accelerators). Unlike NIH or DOE, NSF neither conducts research or development nor constructs or operates any research facilities itself, that is, with NSF employees. Although NSF does own a number of major research facilities, it operates them by using contractors, which are almost exclusively universities or university consortia. With the mission to improve the health of the people of the United States and other nations, NIH is the largest single supporter of basic and applied biomedical research in the world. The major structural units of NIH are its 17 national institutes, each with its own authorizing legislation and appropriation. Most have an “extramural program” component and an “intramural program” component, each reporting to the institute director. The extramural programs provide support to the external community through a variety of grant and contract instruments. The intramural program, included in all but one of the institutes, supports scientists working in federal laboratories and accounts for 11 percent of the NIH budget. The DOE programs are basic and applied science and engineering in energy-related fields. DOE's research is carried out in its national laboratories and in an extensive extramural program. Most of the basic research efforts make use of large facilities at the laboratories, such as particle accelerators, nuclear reactors, synchrotron light sources, and electron microscopes. Though located at the national laboratories, these facilities are operated for the benefit of the entire user community—scientists at universities, other laboratories, and industry, as well as the in-house staff. Applied research (energy programs, environmental cleanup, and defense programs) work is generally carried out at the DOE laboratories. NASA and these three organizations make extensive use of peer review in the selection of proposals for funding. NIH employs a two-level “outside” review process for its extramural research program, the bulk of its program. The first level is a scientific and technical review by outside scientists who are peers of the proposers and who evaluate based solely on scientific merit. The second level is conducted by National Advisory Councils, composed of both scientists and members of the general public, and considers program relevance as well as scientific merit. Proposals surviving both rounds of review are eligible for funding, although resource limitations preclude support of all eligible proposals. Although NSF employs the peer review process for proposal ranking, NSF program managers have some flexibility in making award decisions because the reviews and reviewer rankings and comments are considered advisory. DOE has very extensive scientific research programs in both basic and applied areas. Peer review is extensively used in evaluating the basic research, but less so in applied programs. Budget decisions are made by program officers at DOE Headquarters. NASA's peer review system, both for proposals responding to NASA research announcements (NRAs—generally to conduct ground-based or suborbital flight research) and for those responding to announcements of opportunity (AOs—to conduct investigations on a flight project), is similar to that of the NSF. The peer review rankings are considered advisory, though given considerable weight. Funding decisions are then made by program managers, at the division director level for NRA proposals and at the associate administrator level for AO proposals. Prior to reaching the associate administrator for decision, AO proposals must also be reviewed by an internal NASA program review panel, which considers not only scientific merit but also programmatic factors. NASA's science program involves one feature, major flight projects, not present in the programs of the other three agencies. Although the NASA ground-based, suborbital, Explorer, and Discovery programs are largely determined by the peer review process outlined above, the larger flight projects require separate Administration and congressional approval and are subjected to separate internal review and approval processes. Individual flight investigations to be carried on these missions are selected by
OCR for page 25
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES peer review, but approval of the project itself involves many other factors (e.g., economic, national, and international policy) as well. These major flight projects are somewhat analogous to major NSF and DOE facility projects. In NASA the scientists at its field centers generally compete with scientists from the outside, both for flight investigations and for ground-based research, and their proposals face the same peer review. (Recently, this principle has been expanded within the agency's life sciences programs.) NASA scientists also carry out institutional service functions, being responsible at Headquarters for the scientific aspects of Headquarters-managed programs and at the centers for an analogous role in flight projects and missions. As noted, NSF does not itself conduct research and development. NIH does conduct in-house research (its intramural program) at federal laboratories, but the great majority of its research is extramural. Of the agencies considered, DOE comes closest to resembling the NASA model of having major in-house institutions while sponsoring extensive out-of-house research. DOE differs from NASA in that the national laboratories (its “field centers”) are all government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) facilities like the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There are no civil service employees at DOE laboratories. The laboratories that emphasize basic research in their missions are generally operated by universities or by university consortia. Others are operated by industrial organizations. This has been a strength of the DOE research effort and is one of the reasons for the interest shown by other agencies in the GOCO mode of operation. Advanced Technology—ARPA and NASA By design, the program of ARPA addresses science and technology at the high-risk, high-payoff frontier of defense research science and engineering. When it was created, ARPA did not establish a research institution to conduct its activities, choosing instead to seek out the most able investigators wherever they could be found. Because of the national importance of its projects and the frontier nature of their scientific content, ARPA has been able to attract the most capable scientists, engineers, and project managers to participate. A typical project lifetime is three or four years, after which its team may be disbanded, leaving ARPA no further obligation to fund it. Thus ARPA avoids the burden and inflexibility of maintaining a captive scientific workforce in a dynamic research environment. ARPA policy has been to provide term appointments to its program management staff, which is composed of discipline scientists and engineers from the research environments in which ARPA works and of technically trained military officers. Typically, terms are for three years, with the option of up to two one-year extensions at the ARPA director's discretion. Motivation to serve in these positions is high because of the dynamic research se tting, minimal bureaucracy, and the significant discretion given the managers in spending $10 million to $20 million per year on projects agreed upon with the director. ARPA projects are selected for their relevance to DoD's mission, overall national importance, and potential for order-of-magnitude performance improvements. Program managers have considerable autonomy in selecting projects, and peer review is not employed because of the belief that it would lead to incremental, rather than revolutionary, advances. The processes employed by ARPA in supporting such research are less formal than those of other agencies. The success of the ARPA program in such areas as space surveillance, high-energy laser weaponry, and computer network communications testifies to the success of this approach and suggests that an optimal scientific research program could employ elements of both peer-reviewed research and exploratory research outside of conventional thinking. As outlined above, advanced technology in NASA is the responsibility of both the mission program offices (OSS, OLMSA, and OMTPE for space science) and the Office of Space Access and Technology (OSAT). The mission offices typically focus on technologies for instruments and sensors and technologies for projects in development and those likely to be initiated in the near future. OSAT generally
OCR for page 26
MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES addresses technologies that cut across the responsibilities of the mission offices (e.g., spacecraft system and subsystem technologies, launch technologies) and exploratory technologies potentially applicable to missions of the more distant future. In both areas, NASA exercises field center capabilities in carrying out technology projects, either as in-house projects or through contracts with outside sources. The exploratory technology program of OSAT most nearly resembles the ARPA program in purpose— advancement of potentially high payoff technologies for future space missions. But the way it is conducted is quite different, relying, as it does, on an essentially permanent management staff in Headquarters and a large, also permanent, research establishment at the field centers.
Representative terms from entire chapter: